Firstly, our usual venue was not ready so once again we decamped to Berg & Galan's house - many thanks again to them for their hospitality!
Secondly... some PCs were injured after the last session (Berg in particular) so the decision was taken to wait for a day of game-time (day 20) to let people heal.
That meant that the PCs set off to the caves on day 21. The party at this point consisted of:
Berg (2nd Level Dwarf)
Galan (2nd Level Elf)
Gene (2nd Level Fighter)
Karensa (2nd Level Elf)
Marl (2nd Level Halfling)
and they were joined by a new character, Karina, a 1st Level Thief
They made their way to the area they call the 'Bath-house of Blibdoolpoolp' as their idea was to find their way down to Level 2 where they hoped there might be some more loot.
Approaching the entrance, they realised it had been barricaded. Berg and Marl decided to start shifting parts of it, but whoever was inside noticed (the Elves realised the inhabitants must have been Hobgoblins) and a spear sliced out of a gap in the barricade and stabbed Berg. Karina shot though one of the gaps and luckily managed to hit one of the Hobgoblins. However the party decided that it was too dangerous to be close to the barricade so they covered it in lamp-oil and set fire to it.
After a few moments, obviously deciding they needed to do something about the people burning their door down, two Hobgoblins leapt through the flaming gap. Of course, the PCs were ready for this manoeuvre, and peppered them with arrows.
Berg searched the Hobgoblins as the rest made their way inside. The Hobgoblins all had jewellery, and in the room were some sacks containing coins. The party thought that perhaps the guards were demanding danger money for the extremely hazardous job of guarding this doorway.
As they'd scored some loot immediately and Berg (who is something of a tank and often takes point) had been heavily injured, the PCs high-tailed it back to town.
I'm not really sure of the sequence of events here, I have to admit. It was very confusing. Some of the party advanced a level due to the treasure from the first brief foray (Gene certainly went up a level, to 3rd). But they'd only been to the first room, and we'd only been gaming for about half an hour in total, so they then waited for Berg to heal before heading to the Caves for another go.
So now we were on day 22. The PCs again headed to the Bath-house, found that nothing had moved in to the first room, and headed for the top of the stairs. Entering the room where the corridor with the staircase was to be found, they realised there were some giant spiders there. The PCs made short work of them, and headed on to the staircase. They hoped that this would lead them to the rooms on the treasure map they'd found at the previous session.
On reaching the bottom of the staircase, they found a large corridor with various doors off it that didn't seem to fit the map. Exploring a little further they found a large room that might have been used at some time as some kind of audience chamber, but was at present just large and empty.
Moving back towards the area they'd already been they approached a set of double doors at the same time as two more giant spiders (slightly bigger than, and seemingly a different species to, the others) came through form the other side. Backing up and using missile fire the PCs managed to take them out without taking any damage, and the PCs went on. The doors opened into the original corridor - there wasn't actually a room behind - so the party continued exploring. Coming across an opening from the corridor and seeing what appeared to be an empty room, the PCs piled in.
However, they didn't check for traps and Berg set off a poison gas trap. Unfortunately Gene failed to make his save and died; two of the other characters (can't remember which, but I think it was Galan and Marl) were down to 1hp.
The party decided that they needed to wait until everyone was healed again, so they waited another two days back in town (days 23 and 24). Then they went back to the area again (day 25)...
There was a bunch of encounters with wandering things - and from a 'behind the curtain' point of view, it was very hard to keep up with the restocking. Usually I have the time between sessions to work out the percentages for some other monster moving in and then restocking the lists of wanderers and so on. Here I was answering questions about how long people needed to heal while simultaneously trying to generate new stat-blocks for monsters. It was somewhat chaotic to say the least.
However, the party got back to it. They reached the same point that they'd been before, pushed on through another couple of rooms, and then ended up in a fight with some leaping, shrieking Giant Shrews. They were pretty vicious and leapt on the heads of several party members. But they did manage to fight them all of and finally made it both out and back.
I think that was how we left it...
And now another episode is about to ensue - next session, Sunday evening, if I can get my damned machine with the dungeon on it to work. If not, I'll have to make something up...shh! Don't tell them!